‘Tis the season.
While we can’t help the ever-changing weather (no matter how much we wish we could), it doesn’t mean we don’t dread the onset of sniffles and stuffed sinuses that creep up on us each year.
Instead of taking extra sups of Vitamin C or wearing an extra sweater (neither of which could hurt), the latest study says if you want to beat the cold season, you best invest in some decent snooze time.
According to a study published in August’s Sleep journal, failing to fall into a slumber and staying up repeatedly for late nights, is the number one risk factor to catching a cold.
For the cold-hard analysis, researchers took a group of 164 healthy men and women aged 18-55 years old, and asked them to fill out sleep diaries and wear sleep monitors for one week.
The subjects were then quarantined in a hotel, given nasal drops containing cold bacteria rhinovirus and monitored them over five days to see if they caught the virus and showed cold symptoms, such as congestion or extra mucus production.
So how did the snooze patterns affect their sniffles?
Well there’s a reason a good night’s sleep can really cure what ails you. Respondents who notably slept less than six hours a night were four times more likely to catch the virus and display symptoms than people who experienced seven hours of sleep or more.
The punch behind the power nap beat all other factors in the study – including age, stress levels, physical activity and smoking.
So as part of your winter prep, treat yourself to some decent pillows, bedsheets and lavender oil to avoid a trip to the doctor’s office.